2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, features, specs
Denis Flierl's picture

The 2022 Subaru Forester Is Now In A 4-Month Sales Slide - 3 Reasons Why

The refreshed 2022 Subaru Forester sales fall again in June. Look at three possible reasons why it's now four consecutive months.
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The 2022 Subaru Forester has now fallen in sales five months in a row. Subaru of America (SOA) reported June sales, and the refreshed 2022 Subaru Forester sales fell again for the fourth month. The last month Forester saw an increase in sales was January to start the new year.

The 2022 Forester compact SUV was down 9.8 percent compared with June 2021, with 7,953 models delivered to customers compared with 8,813 in June 2021. Forester is down 46.9 percent for the first six months of 2022, the most of any all-wheel-drive SUV in SOA's lineup. Forester has 50,937 total sales in 2022 compared with 95,965 in 2021.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, features, specs

How does the Forester compare with Outback and Crosstrek sales?

Outback leads Forester

In June, the 2022 Subaru Outback remains the top performer in the lineup with 13,135 sales even though sales dropped 19.9 percent compared with June 2021 (16,394). The Outback is also the number one selling model in the first six months, with 77,341 midsize SUVs delivered to customers. Outback is down 11.7 percent year to date.

Crosstrek is ahead of Forester

The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek continues to sizzle hot with 10,675 subcompact SUVs delivered to customers in June. That's a massive 66.4 percent increase over June 2021 sales (6,415). Crosstrek is the second best-selling all-wheel-drive model for SOA, with 70,050 models delivered to customers through the first six months. Crosstrek is one of the few models with a sales increase in 2022, up 9.1 percent this year.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, features, specs

Does Forester's drop in sales go beyond microchip shortages, supply chain issues, and plant closures?

Customers are buying significantly more Outback and Crosstrek models for a reason. There could be three reasons why.

One of Forester's significant shortcomings is it competes in the competitive compact SUV segment with the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Hyundai Tucson. Those models offer a more fuel-efficient hybrid option, and the Forester does not.

Another Forester shortcoming is Subaru of America should have offered the new Forester Wilderness with the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine with 260 horsepower. Forester Wilderness comes with the standard 2.5-liter natural aspirated Boxer engine producing 182 horsepower. That significantly differs when customers carry additional cargo and camping gear up a steep mountain pass.

Third, the Forester is built in Japan, and the Outback is manufactured in the U.S. in Lafayette, Indiana. Some customers choose to buy the Outback because it's more readily available. Customers must wait longer to get the Forester (4-5 months) and Outback (3 to 4 months).

Subaru announced that production at Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) is up a significant 85.0 percent over last year. It's the second consecutive month of increase at SIA. More Outback models are available for customers than the Forester compact SUV that must ship from Japan.

The refreshed 2022 Subaru Forester sales fall for the fourth month this year. It could be the Forester needs a hybrid model and a new turbocharged engine upgrade. It's also because customers have to wait longer to get one.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


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Comments

I disagree with your analysis. The Forester had a turbocharged version from 2004 through 2018 and people have been requesting a hybrid Subaru for almost a decade. It is highly unlikely that these two long-standing issues would suddenly make sales plummet in February- March of this year. I think the answer is simply that the profit margin is higher on the Crosstrek compared to the Forester, possibly because buyers are younger and are more apt to upgrade to higher trim levels. Subaru executives are simply choosing to make the vehicle in Japan that maximizes profits.
I'm glad I bought the pre facelifted Forester. My 2021 looks much better than the 2022. In my opinion, the facelift is why Subaru is not selling as much as they forcasted.
It's just not a great car. We had a Forester as a loaner when our WRX was in for an airbag recall. It was rather slow, you really had to push it to get on the freeway and the motor didn't sound happy over 3000rpm. Load it up with kids, groceries or luggage for a trip and it would be even worse. The start/stop feature wasn't refined, the car jumped or shutters when it shut off at every light. Gas mileage isn't great and most everyone else offers a hybrid or even a plug in hybrid. We finally had to leave Subaru and got a Niro plug in hybrid, about the same size as the Crosstrek. The Crosstrek hybrid isn't even a good car, small EV range, bad gas mileage as a hybrid and only sold in a few states.
I wouldn't buy another four-star because so many of their features are incredibly annoying. The radio starts the second you turn on the car and I have no idea who decided that everybody that gets in a car wants to listen to a radio. The seatbelt buzzer starts the second you move the car so even if you're just pulling in the driveway you have to listen to It's annoying buzzer. You can't override the stupid automatic engine shut off which makes absolutely no sense because the number one thing that we're about an engines are when they are restarted. And the list goes on.